Vodoča, Hierarch’s Divine Liturgy ( 18.11.2005 )
Today, on the day of the Holy Martyrs Galaction and Episteme, Metropolitan Nahum of Strumica celebrated Hierarch’s Divine Liturgy in the chapel of Saints Gregory Palamas and Elder Joseph the Spilaioti in the monastery in Vodoča.
“He who has perfect obedience is totally free from cares. Now then, the nous is the steward of the soul that carries its food—that is, whatever you give it. So when it is at peace and you give it the good things it wants, it lowers them into the heart. First of all, the nous is cleansed from whatever predispositions it was obsessed with in the world. It is disentangled from the cares of life, and by constantly saying the prayer, it completely stops wandering. And then you realize that it has been purified, because it no longer inclines towards the evil and filthy things which it had seen or heard in the world. Afterwards, through the prayer that is going in and out of the heart, the nous clears a path and expels all indecency, evil, and filth from the heart. For the nous declares war against the passions and against the demons, who arouse the passions and who have been lurking in the heart for so many years without anybody seeing or knowing about them. But now that the nous has acquired purity—its original garment—it sees them and, like a watch-dog, barks, howls, and fights with them as lord and guard of the entire intellectual part of the soul. It wields the name JESUS like a weapon and flogs the enemies, who also are barking like wild dogs, until it throws them all out to the periphery of the heart. Then the nous begins to clean up all the filth and dirt with which the demons had defiled us every time we assented to do anything evil and sinful. It proceeds to fight with the demons in order to drive them out and remove them entirely, so that they do not disturb it at all. And it constantly struggles to throw out the filth which they constantly throw in. Then, as a good steward, it carries provisions suitable for the enlightenment and health of soul.
In all of this, purifying grace assists. The one praying is covered under the protection of obedience as if he were in the shade. He is guarded by the grace of him who has assumed the responsibility of his soul before God. And slowly the change of the Most High occurs.” (Elder Joseph the Spilaioti)